With a very broad range of applications, steel is an important material and has been developed into the most extensive alloy in the engineering world. Since delivering high quality is absolutely crucial for steel plants, ensuring maximum productivity and the best quality production are the keys to competitiveness in the steel industry. Additionally, working conditions in steel factories are not suitable for workers to stay in for long periods of time, so manufactures usually adopt various machines to complete the steel production processes. However, the precision of these machines is often overestimated and the lack of flexibility also makes supervisors unable to adjust operating procedures. A renowned steel factory in Asia planned to improve its Distributed Control System (DCS) of furnaces as well as addressing the problem of insufficient accuracy. However, most well-known international equipment suppliers can not provide a satisfactory solution and local maintenance because the project needed new technologies to more accurately control equipment operations. By implementing Advantech’s automated monitoring and control solution, steel factories can not only improve the manufacturing processes but can also allow users to add additional functions to the existing system so as to make sure the operation runs at high efficiency.
Traditional agriculture companies have applied for ages the same tools and processes that have become antiquated these days. Most of the organizations that work on the farming sector have realized the great potential that cutting edge technologies have to ease their daily works, reduce losses or improve the yield quantity and also product quality. Wireless sensor networks have opened a wide range in terms of possibilities for farmers and agricultural management organizations. Getting real-time information from different water, soil or air parameters of any field allows taking smart and strategic decisions to save resources and optimize yields.
The key business challenges are: - Effective prevention of derailments - Reduction of oil spills on railroad transportation of crude oils - Alerts to first responders depending on material carried - Public safety answering points (PSAPs) and State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) need to know the schedule, load, and location - Flawless communication between PSAPs and first responders
Before working with Ayla Networks, Ozner was already using cloud connectivity to identify and solve water-filtration system malfunctions as well as to monitor filter cartridges for replacements.
But, in June 2015, Ozner executives talked with Ayla about how the company might further improve its water systems with IoT technology. They liked what they heard from Ayla, but the executives needed to be sure that Ayla’s Agile IoT Platform provided the security and reliability Ozner required.
Unmanned weather stations play an essential role in the effort to analyze and predict the world's ever-changing weather patterns. The unmanned stations collect and store large amounts of weather data and then download the data at regular intervals to a back-end host for analysis and long-term storage. The computing device housed in the weather station must be robust enough to work continuously for long periods of time while exposed to a wide range of temperatures. It should also be able to collect readings from various sensors that use different data transmission protocols, and have the capability to store large amounts of data.
While on-site in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, the DAQRI team of Business Development and Solutions Architecture personnel worked closely with KSP Steel’s production leadership to understand the steel production process, operational challenges, and worker pain points.
Since electricity costs keep on rising, the bills for convenience stores keep on increasing and unfortunately it’s difficult for convenience stores to raise their prices to maintain the same profit margins. Variable overheads are difficult to budget for and give accountants a headache, therefore one convenience store chain in Thailand has decided to redress the balance and put themselves in chargeof power generation by installing solar panels in their stores.
Our customer wanted to reduce their energy costs by at least 10 percent and having installed solar panels in their store locations they needed to be able to send the power to where it was needed and when it was needed. Since the stores are open for 24 hours and it’s onlysunny forroughly 12 of those, it was essential that the power distribution to the lighting and refrigeration units was managed efficiently.
As technology advances, textile manufacturing has been transformed from a labor-intensive to a partially or fully automated industry. Automation is significant in all segments of textile production - from spinning to printing, and textile machinery manufacturers are constantly searching for new technologies and automation processes will increase the productivity of their machines. The color paste mixing and dispensing machine is an essential part of the printing and dyeing process. With the advantage of automatically computerized controls and database management, the system can significantly improve its dispensing precision, working efficiency and production quality as well as reducing material consumption.
The company decided to utilize its own extensive expertise and cooperated with the System Integrator to develop the required subsystems so that enhancing the billet surface quality and dynamic mold level control based on the original framework. Apart from software, the improvement of the continuous casting process needed to come with powerful and robust devices to provide reliable system operation, the models were required to: support Microsoft operating systems to easily develop customized programs; have better CPU performance to run software; offer various I/O interfaces and expandable connections to meet the required functions; have a wide operating temperature range and anti-interference ability to resist harsh industrial and high electromagnetic environments. According to the customer’s requirements, two subsystems needed to be implemented in the continuous casting machine, including the mold level control system and hydraulic cylinder control system. For the first subsystem, Advantech proposed the TPC-1571 Touch Panel Computer, embedded in the electrical cabinet, to be used as the HMI for users to communicate with the APAX-5571XPE Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) and a variety of APAX-5000 I/O modules (APAX-5017H, APAX-5028, APAX-5040 and APAX-5046). The APAX models are to be used as a compensator in order to provide the stabilization of the molten steel in the mold of a continuous casting machine. With an Intel Atom Dual Core processor, the TPC-1571 is a powerful computer and is able to deal with large amounts of data while its panel features and mounting options offer a better user interface and save installation space compared to a desktop PC with monitor. The APAX-5571XPE, with Intel Celeron M grade CPU and built-in Windows XP Embedded operating system, makes it a high performance and application ready platform to shorten user’s development time. By usingthe APAX I/O modules to collect the signals (including pressure, level, sliding gate, motor, temperature, switch and light), this mold level control system can fully monitor various devices and conditions as well as controlling the casting processes. When the original PID controller is unable to deliver enough signals, managers can switch to the new subsystem which provides faster data acquisition (up to 1000 samples) so as to compensate DCS dynamic level control. Furthermore, since they have been designed with isolated protection, Advantech’s APAX serial products are very resistant to field interference. As for the second subsystem, the APAX-5620 RISC-based controller is responsible for executing hydraulic cylinder control tasks by connecting to different APAX-5000 I/O modules (APAX-5017, APAX-5040, APAX-5046 and APAX-5343E). By providing a CAN bus communication interface, the APAX-5620 can control the steel’s thickness via a CANopen sensor. Unlike the competitor's products, to add an extra pipe to cool the system down, Advantech’s controller and modules support wider operating temperatures to ensure that devices would not be damaged by high temperaturessince the control box has to be installed next to the machine and the field temperature is often above 50˚C. The developer can also configure related hardware settings for the I/O modules through built-in utilities and can effortlessly create the related application programs under the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET or C/C++ programming environment. Technology Deployed: TPC-1571H: Touch Panel Computer With Intel Atom Dual Core Processor APAX-5571XPE: PACs with Intel Celeron M CPU APAX-5017H: 12-ch high speed analog input module APAX-5028: 8-ch analog output module APAX-5040: 24-ch digital input module APAX-5046: 24-ch digital output module APAX-5620: PAC with Marvel XScale CPU, CAN, WinCE APAX-5017: 12-ch Analog Input Module APAX-5040: 24-ch digital input module APAX-5046: 24-ch digital output module APAX-5343E : Power Supply for APAXExpansion Module
All sensor nodes connect through a meshed wifi network, using WPA2 authentication. Data is sent to the Cloud in intervals that vary from 5 to 15 minutes. The nodes use HTTP to communicate with an on-site gateway. The gateway in turn communicates securely, using TLS1.2, with Agnov8’s cloud based SaaS platform. Agnov8’s multi-tenant SaaS is hosted on AWS Cloud Platform. Through the platform any user can access to each sensor module to review sensor measurement data based on their locations.The raw data captured by the sensors can be downloaded for business intelligence or other research purposes. The platform is being upgraded with new features to notify events by email or SMS to alarm customers.
Synapt’s team developed the end-to-end Connected Railroad solution that sends alerts along with preventive measures to first responders, departments in charge. It makes use of several sensors, including accelerometers, gyroscope, seal lid openers, and motion sensors.
Ozner is leveraging Ayla’s IoT cloud platform to better manage and maintain its connected filtration systems and to help expand its sales into international markets.
The Ayla Insights business intelligence and analytics tool was employed to obtain real-world customer data from the Ozner Water connected smart-filtration systems in use. The customer data collected through Ayla insights included additional maintenance and service checkpoints from the deployed systems.
Meanwhile, Ayla engineers built Ozner a mobile app that lets Chinese customers remotely control their own filtration systems using popular social networks, such as Weixin (aka WeChat).
Protocol Conversion and Front-end Data Processing The data collected by a typical unmanned weather station includes temperature, rainfall and snow accumulation, air pressure, humidity, and ultraviolet intensity. One of the tasks that the UC-7420 unit must handle is protocol conversion, since there is no guarantee that the devices collecting the weather data all use the same protocol. In addition, the UC-7420 can be used to do preliminary data processing before downloading data to the central computer. MOXA's UC-7420 is ideally suited for these tasks, since the user can easily embed a C program that is custom written for the devices used at the station. If future changes involve adding or removing devices, the programmer simply needs to modify the C code, recompile it, and then download the executable program over the network to the UC-7420 unit. Connecting to the Network and the Internet In addition to being programmable, the UC-7420 also offers users an array of connection options. To begin with, data entering the serial ports from attached sensors can be processed and then forwarded through one or both of the dual Ethernet ports to the LAN. One of the serial ports can also be connected to a V.90 or GPRS modem for PPP connections, and a PCMCIA port is available for installing a wireless LAN card for 802.11b/g networks. By including multiple connection options in the UC-7420's design, user's gain the flexibility needed to connect from virtually anywhere. Combinations of connection types can also be used to provide redundancy. For example, if unavoidable network problems cause an interruption in service, the user can connect by modem. CompactFlash Storage Space One of the dilemmas faced when creating a "small" computer is how to provide users with adequate storage space. For unmanned applications, it is best if the storage device does not contain moving parts. Although hard drives may seem to last forever for day-to-day use, we cannot make this assumption for continuous use at remote locations. The UC-7420 overcomes this problem by providing a CompactFlash slot. If needed, flash memory cards with storage capacity of up to several gigabytes can be used to store data until it is convenient to transfer the data to a central computer.
Employing DAQRI SMART HELMET™ and visual markers at process-observation points, KSP Steel engineers could access two new capabilities.
1. Just-in-place AR data visualization: Workers could safely access necessary information at the point of need, without wasted travel time or an interruption of situational awareness.
2. Portable Process Data: Workers can select an AR data visualization for a given observation point and pin it to their AR display, independent of the unique marker. This decouples the dependence on installed physical infrastructure and allows the user to safely take information with them, providing exponential improvements in process flexibility.
To manage the distribution of power, the customer implemented a building automation system using BASPro software installed on a DDC controller. By using a touch panel computer, with WebAccess installed on a 10.4” touch panel computer, the power can be controlled as necessary.
BASPro is a programming software package suitable for building automation application, perfectly integrating with BAS-3500 Series DDC Controller (Direct Digital Controller). BASPro features rich function blocks like mathematical calculation, dataconversion, logic operation, alarm, eventand timer, and control algorithm (PID, Ramp, ON/OFF switch control). Moreover, BASPro also provides many BA domain function blocks, such as scheduler, HVAC calculation and sequential control, which are commonly used in building applications. Developers can benefit from savingdevelopment timeby the function blocks. Engineers can developapplications on their computer. After the application program is complete, it canbe downloaded to the BAS-3500 series through Ethernet. Then BAS-3500 series becomes a standalone controller since it can execute the program by itself. Besides, BASPro delivers simulation function that you can observe the program execution situation before the program is downloaded to the BAS-3500 series.
WebAccess is a browser based SCADA software that is used to graphically control and monitor the data from the BAS-3024 and ADAM-4055 remote IO modules attached to the cooling units and the lighting. It is installed on a TPC-1071H touch panel computer. The TPC -1071H is a 10.4” SVGA TFT LED LCDIntel Atom Dual-core D525 that includes WindowsXP embedded and WebAccess.
The EKI-2525/2528 supports a Fast Ethernet solution. The power is a 12 ~ 48 VDC redundant input design, and is secured with a double protection mechanism: Power Polarity Reverse Protect and an Overload Current Resetable Fuse. The former tolerates reverse power wiring while the later secures the system from overload currents. Asthe power supply turns normal, EKI-2525/2528 will automatically get back to work. Each port of EKI-2525/2528 has 2 LED’s to show the link status transmission speed and collision status. It also provides a relay output for an eventalarm.In theevent of a power failure,the built-in LED willactivate the alarm to notify administrators. Engineers can simply verify the hardware status by checking the LED, and have troubleshooting easy and quick. EKI-2525/2528 comes with compact metal housing that rates IP30 to help against from dusty industrial environments.
BAS-3520 is a standalone programmable controller specially designed for building automation (BA) applications. Designed as a typical DDC(Direct Digital Controller), BAS-3520 delivers various of onboard I/O including universal input, analog output, digital input and digital output, providing flexible options to satisfy versatileapplication requirements. It also features powerful BASPro programming tool for engineers to quickly develop their application. BASPro delivers many function blocks suitable for BA application, such as scheduler, HVAC calculation, sequential control, PID control, alarm, and event. Its compact size makes it an ideal solution tofulfill BA installation environment. Connected to the controller are BAS-3024 Remote IO module and ADAM-4055 modules.
The BAS-3024 expansion I/O modules can be stackedonthe DDC controller, or can serve as remotestandalone I/O modules through an RS-485 network. These expansion I/O modules add both scalability and flexibility to Advantech BAS-3000 solutions. Like the DDC, I/O expansion modules can be programmed using the BASPro programming tool.The ADAM-4055 offers 8-ch. isolated digital inputs and 8-ch. isolated digital outputs for critical applications. The inputs accept 10~50 Vvoltage, and the outputs supply 5~40 VDC opencollector. Consideredto be user-friendly. The ADAM-4055 is also builtwith LED indicator for easy status reading.
Our customer's automatic mixing and dispensing machine comprises of a mixing head, an electronic weighing scale, dosing station, color paste mixer, mother liquor storage tank and delivery pipeline, and automatic conveyor. They used to use a tablet PC as their system control device, but the high operating temperatures (over 50℃) usually cause system failure and computer crashes. As a result, production was delayed and raw materials were wasted. Therefore, they decided to purchase a new fanless device which has to be operated over a long period of time, especially in higher temperature areas. At the same time, its CPU and memory specifications needed to meet the requirements of the bespoke software. Due to a trade-off between hardware specifications and cost control, and after our professional assessment, our customer changed their original requirements to accept Advantech’s economic program. Our total solution with a UNO-2173A fanless computer, ADAM-4520 isolated converter and ADAM I/O modules not only completely integrates the data acquisition and control functions, but also supports a wide operating temperature range (-20 ~ 70℃) with high performance. The UNO-2173A can fully master the on-site operation through the ADAM-4520 to convert RS-232 signals into isolated RS-485 signals; even when the operating temperature exceeds 50 degrees, the CPU can run smoothly. In addition, the ADAM-4520 allows users to easily build an industrial grade and long distance communication system. As for the ADAM modules (ADAM-4117, ADAM-4018, ADAM-4015, and ADAM-4024), they are connected to the peripheral facilities to acquire the on-site signals and data. The robust ADAM-4117 analog input module is capable of measuring the voltage and current. The ADAM-4018 thermocouple input module and ADAM-4015 thermal resistance module - are in charge of the temperature measurement. In addition, the ADAM-4024 module provides the analog output to control the heater. All of them are designed for reliable operation in harsh environments. Technology Deployed: UNO-2173A: Intel® Atom® N270 Processor Automation Computers with 2 x LAN, 3 x COM, Mini PCIe ADAM-4520: Isolated RS-232 to RS-422/485 Converter ADAM-4117: Robust 8-ch Analog Input Module with Modbus ADAM-4018: 8-ch Thermocouple Input Module ADAM-4015: 6-ch RTD Module with Modbus ADAM-4024: 4-ch Analog Output Module with Modbus